The National Football League's Chicago Bears announced late on Friday (May 19) afternoon that they signed former Ashland University tight end Adam Shaheen to a four-year contract.
Shaheen, who has been assigned uniform No. 87 by the Bears, was drafted with the No. 45 overall pick (second round) by Chicago in the 2017 NFL Draft on April 28. Of Ashland's four all-time NFL Draft picks, Shaheen is the earliest chosen by a margin of five rounds.
A 6-foot-6, 277-pound tight end, Shaheen caught an Ashland-record and NCAA Division II single-season tight end-record 16 touchdown passes as a junior in 2016, and grabbed a school tight end-record 70 passes as a sophomore in 2015.
After starting just two seasons for the Eagles, Shaheen is No. 5 all-time in program history with 129 career catches, No. 10 in career receiving yards with 1,755 and was two receiving touchdowns away from tying the school's all-time record in that category.
Eight former Eagles have played in NFL regular-season games, with former Ashland All-American defensive lineman Jamie Meder currently starting for the Cleveland Browns. Shaheen and the Bears will play Meder and the Browns at Soldier Field on Dec. 24. When that happens, it will mark the first time two players who played their entire collegiate careers as Eagles will face off in a regular-season NFL game.
Three previous Ashland football players – defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton (seventh round, 2012, Jacksonville), linebacker Bill Overmyer (14th round, 1972, Philadelphia) and linebacker Len Pettigrew (ninth round, 1971, Philadelphia) – were chosen in the NFL Draft prior to Shaheen.